Take action to restore end-of-life rights

Tell Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould: Restore the end-of-life rights of Canadians with dementia or other degenerative conditions who are discriminated against by the ban on advance requests for assisted dying.

The problem

When assisted dying was legalized in 2016, many Canadians facing a diagnosis of dementia or other capacity-eroding conditions were stunned to learn the law gave them little hope of being able to access their right to a peaceful death.

Under this law, many Canadians in the early stages of dementia or other degenerative illnesses know that their right to a peaceful death will likely be denied because of the ban on advance requests for assisted dying. As a consequence, people are faced with a cruel choice: end their lives too early while they are still of sound mind or live through a nightmare of indignities for far too long.

This fall, the federal government will be receiving a report from the Council of Canadian Academies on the implications of the ban on advance requests for assisted dying. Once presented, Cabinet leaders are required by law to submit the researchers’ findings to Parliament, entering the report to the public record.

But with little to no public consultation on this issue, it’s possible that our lawmakers will sweep this issue under the rug—and continue to deny Canadians with capacity-eroding conditions their right to choose a peaceful death.

The solution

For some people with conditions like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and even brain cancer, the option of a medically assisted death may be completely off the table unless they can make an advance request. This would allow a person to make a formal request for assisted dying that would be honoured later, after they lose the capacity to make medical decisions for themselves.  

We’re calling on decision-makers to pay attention to the harms caused by the unfair ban on advance requests for assisted dying. And, with your help, we will demand that they take steps to ensure that everyone’s end-of-life rights are respected.

To compel them to take this issue seriously, we need to put the rights of Canadians with dementia or other capacity-eroding conditions on the national radar, making it an issue that is impossible to ignore.

Take action today!

To ensure that this issue is put on the national radar for our legislators, we’re asking 15,000 Canadians from across the country to raise the alarm about the harms of banning advance requests for assisted dying. Use Dying With Dignity Canada's Petition Action to send a strong message to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. The message will also be sent to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

The release of the Council of Canadian Academies’ report this fall is a unique opportunity to draw attention to this issue—and speaking out in large numbers alongside other Dying With Dignity Canada supporters will show our federal decision-makers that this ban isn’t something that can be swept under the rug.